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AFDO welcomes the Australian Human Rights Commission preliminary decision not to grant an exemption under the Federal Disability Discrimination Act to Queensland Rail.  The joint application was lodged by Queensland Rail and Queensland Transport and Main Roads (TMR) for an exemption in relation to the purchase of up to 75 new six-car passenger trains which are not accessible.

CEO of AFDO, Ross Joyce outlined, “This situation has been allowed to occur because the Federal Transport Standards lack any capacity to force compliance or influence change. The Disability Discrimination Act has prohibited discrimination in public transport since 1993, and Transport Standards have required new trains to be compliant since 2002”.

It’s outrageous how Queensland Rail thought that it could buy non-compliant trains and just get an exemption! With the Commonwealth Games on in Queensland next month, the rail authorities still think they are justified and have announced they will be using these inaccessible, non-compliant trains and will flout a preliminary ruling from the Australian Human Rights Commission, the highest independent rights body in Australia! This is just discrimination at its ugliest, and I expect that people with disability and their families will justifiably protest this affront,” said Mr Joyce.

“Queensland Rail seems to believe that people with disability don’t count and have no need to access public transport or have accessible toilets provided, it’s shameful. This undermines Australia’s commitment to human rights, and I would urge the Queensland Premier and Transport Minister to intervene, uphold the Commissions ruling and show that discrimination will not be condoned,” demanded Mr Joyce.

For more information, please contact Mr Ross Joyce on 0402 842 040.